The circus rolls on as internet personality Jake Paul treats us to his latest professional boxing extravaganza, when he takes on former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. The novice boxers headline an intriguing undercard, featuring world title action and outings for promising Brits Daniel Dubois and Tommy Fury. Emanating from Rocket Mortgage Field House in Paul’s native Cleveland, Ohio, the card will be available to watch on BT Box Office for £16.95. The event takes place this Sunday 29th August, kicking off at 8pm Eastern Time in the States, which is 1am Monday in the UK. Here’s what you can expect from the latest chapter in the YouTube boxing revolution.
Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley
Woodley is in many ways Jake Paul’s favourite type of opponent. Namely: not a professional boxer. The ex-UFC fighter is making his boxing debut, and was not particularly known for his knockout power during his MMA days. Of Woodley’s 19 victories, just seven ended by knockout or technical knockout. Aged 39, the choice of Woodley seems to have come from the same school of thought that brought Ben Askren to the lucrative Jake Paul orbit. Why try and establish yourself as a genuine professional prospect when you can make untold millions fighting ageing MMA fighters who can’t punch?
To Paul’s credit, while his opponents are carefully chosen, he does at least dispatch them with aplomb. Askren was blasted away inside two minutes in his previous outing, while Paul’s chilling demolition of former NBA star Nate Robinson has appeared on endless highlight reels. The smart money would be on Paul to produce something similar here, though he may have to work harder than usual against a man who was only stopped three times in professional MMA, once by submission, once by injury and once by grounded strikes.
Prediction: Jake Paul via knockout.
Daniel Dubois vs Joe Cusumano
Of great interest to UK boxing fans, ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois makes his American debut on the undercard. The 23-year-old suffered his first professional defeat in November of last year, when Joe Joyce stopped the promising heavyweight in round 10. Dubois rebounded with an excellent second-round stoppage of Bogdan Dinu to capture the questionable WBA Interim bauble in June.
Dubois is eyeing a future world title shot, as he looks to restore his career to pre-Joyce levels. Joe Cusumano is unlikely to derail those plans. The Virginia puncher carries a 19-3 ledger with 17 wins by stoppage, but his level of opposition has been modest. Cusumano is durable, with all three of his losses coming via decision. However, he has never met a fighter who carries the ‘Dynamite’ power of Dubois, and is likely to find himself stopped in the middle rounds of their scheduled 10.
Prediction: Daniel Dubois via knockout.
Tommy Fury vs Anthony Taylor
Better known for his time on Love Island than his six professional bouts, Fury will be looking to punch his way out of the gossip magazines and into the sports pages with an impressive performance in Cleveland.
His opponent is another predictable symptom of this celebrity boxing era. MMA fighter Anthony Taylor is 0-1 in boxing and happens to be a sparring partner of headline attraction Jake Paul. The idea here is to build towards a Paul-Fury clash, with the pair already igniting a rivalry online based on Paul alleging Fury’s girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague had sent him a DM on Instagram. Lamotta vs Robinson it isn’t, but this sort of Gen-Z oneupmanship is what sells these days. The real intrigue in the potential fight is that despite having only boxed six times, Fury would carry the most pro boxing experience of any Jake Paul foe so far.
But first Tommy, half-brother of WBC and The Ring Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, must negotiate Saturday’s test against Anthony Taylor. It will prove to be a modest one, with Taylor having to bulk from his 155Ib MMA fighting weight to make the 180Ib limit. Expect Fury to vanquish his smaller foe early, setting the table for a big-money showdown with Jake Paul.
Prediction: Tommy Fury via knockout.
Amanda Serrano v Yamileth Mercado
The pick of the bunch from a purist’s perspective, elite Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano defends her WBC, WBO and IBO Featherweight championships against live underdog Yamileth Mercado.
‘The Real Deal’ annexed the WBC Interim and WBO straps from unbeaten Heather Hardy by decision in 2019, and has won three on the bounce via stoppage since. The 32-year-old southpaw has been frequently linked to a showdown with Brit superstar Katie Taylor, the undisputed Lightweight champion. Such a match-up would arguably decide the pound-for-pound number one position in women’s boxing.
Serrano cannot afford to take Mercado lightly however. The Mexican is the reigning WBC Super Bantamweight champion, and has not lost a fight since 2018. Serrano remains the pick, but she will have to be at her best to emerge with her title belts in tact.
Prediction: Serrano via decision.
Betfred Odds: Serrano 1-16 Mercado 9-1 Draw 20-1